‘Citizens of the USSR have the right to health protection. This right is provided free of charge by professionally qualified medical personnel trained within public health institutions; administered to the people through an expansive network of medical institutions, for the treatment and strengthening of the health of Soviet Citizens; the development and improvement of safety and industrial sanitation; whilst carrying out wide preventive measures; measures for improving the environment; special care for the health of the young and the developing next generation, including the prohibition of child labour not associated with training, and labour education; the development of scientific research aimed at preventing and reducing morbidity, and every measure to ensure a long active life of all Soviet Citizens.’
Fundamental Law of the USSR: Article 42
What I find interesting is the general lack of will to admit that the NHS is (or was) a Socialist entity provided free at the point of us, and paid for through collective taxation. Or, that as a concept it originated in the USSR. I see this movement, that union (or numerous FB pages) all eulogizing the NHS, but NONE acknowledging its Socialist foundations. This observation may be coupled with the reality that many people who work in the NHS do not give a damn about how it is funded, or how it impacts the lives of ordinary people, just as long as they receive their pay cheque at the end of the month. This denial of the true Socialist essence of the NHS is as destructive to its functioning as the previous 8 years of Tory (and LibDems) privatisation, and the previous 12 years of ‘New’ Labour rule before that. The NHS only works because it is ‘Socialist’, and it was formulated in the UK during a period of re-distribution of wealth. Socialism is something to be proud of if you are working class, or support the working class. Another issue that occasionally raises its ugly head, is racism in the NHS. The NHS, despite being Socialist, exists within a predatory capitalist society, and reflects entirely the prevailing class antagonism of the contemporary UK. I have heard of cases whereby certain unions have failed to support their Black or Asian members when those members have experienced racism and prejudice at work from the NHS management (this is separate and distinct from the racism experienced by Black and Asian NHS staff that originates from the general-public). As long as the UK follows the destructive path of US consumer capitalism, the NHS will always remain under threat. What should happen is that a strong (and Socialist NHS) should inspire the British working class to rise-up and establish Socialism throughout Britain, so that the UK can become like the NHS, and not the NHS like consumer capitalism! This is why my family (members of which work in the NHS), will be marching this weekend, proudly holding aloft the Red Flag of Communism, and celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the NHS!